Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Campaign
Ireland is trailing a long way behind other countries in providing services for people affected by stroke, these vital services that will help to minimise death and disability and help the people affected with stroke with their stroke recovery.
Stroke FACT: Around 10,000 people will have a stroke in Ireland this year. Over 2,000 will die and thousands more will be left disabled. But a significant proportion of this death and disability is avoidable. By creating awareness about stroke we hope to lower these rates.
Stroke FACT: At least 15% of strokes are misdiagnosed – that’s over 1,500 cases a year.
Stroke FACT: Less than one in three acute hospitals has a stroke unit – if all hospitals admitting patients with acute stroke had a stroke unit we could save up to 500 lives a year.
Stroke FACT: Almost half of our acute hospitals cannot provide the life-saving clot buster treatment, also known as thrombolysis. Many hospitals that provide thrombolysis can only do so during office hours or on an intermittent basis.
Stroke FACT: Acute rehabilitation is recorded as being available to just one in four patients. Tens of thousands of people who return home or enter nursing homes after a stroke have to endure inadequate rehabilitation and support services.
All this means that unfortunately the place, time and day of a stroke largely determines whether you recover, die, or live the rest of your life with a disability.
For many who survive with disabilities after being unable to access prompt treatment, there is a double injustice. The lack of availability of stroke recovery facilities and acute rehabilitation means that many people must live with avoidable or unduly severe disabilities. This needs to change.
Won’t better stroke services cost too much?
We believe that providing a high quality network of national stroke services, co-ordinating prevention, hospital and community care would be cost neutral, or even save the State money. Even now our stroke services cost the State €422 million a year. Making the necessary improvements would reduce the cost of institutional care, the length of hospital stay and the rate of readmission. This is achievable through comprehensive stroke recovery treatment.
How can change be secured?
We are asking people – regardless of whether their lives have yet been touched by stroke – to join our campaign urging the Government to implement the measures that will eliminate avoidable death and disability from stroke. These 16 recommendations are contained in the Irish Heart Foundation’s Stroke Manifesto
Sign up to our campaign